Wednesday, December 14, 2016

How people move in cities can be investigated by examining geo-tags on photographs

Uncovering Urban Temporal Patterns from Geo-Tagged Photography

    Silvia Paldino, Dániel Kondor, Iva Bojic, Stanislav Sobolevsky, Marta C. González, Carlo Ratti
    Published: December 9, 2016


    We live in a world where digital trails of different forms of human activities compose big urban data, allowing us to detect many aspects of how people experience the city in which they live or come to visit. In this study we propose to enhance urban planning by taking into a consideration individual preferences using information from an unconventional big data source: dataset of geo-tagged photographs that people take in cities which we then use as a measure of urban attractiveness. We discover and compare a temporal behavior of residents and visitors in ten most photographed cities in the world. Looking at the periodicity in urban attractiveness, the results show that the strongest periodic patterns for visitors are usually weekly or monthly. Moreover, by dividing cities into two groups based on which continent they belong to (i.e., North America or Europe), it can be concluded that unlike European cities, behavior of visitors in the US cities in general is similar to the behavior of their residents. Finally, we apply two indices, called “dilatation attractiveness index” and “dilatation index”, to our dataset which tell us the spatial and temporal attractiveness pulsations in the city. The proposed methodology is not only important for urban planning, but also does support various business and public stakeholder decision processes, concentrated for example around the question how to attract more visitors to the city or estimate the impact of special events organized there.

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